The value of implementing grassroots approaches within HART’s partner locations

8 December 2021

HART  implements grassroots approaches within all six of our partner locations, as we understand the invaluable impact they can create within communities. Working with local partner organisations, we empower locally-led community projects and target all sectors crucial to development. To do this, we go where others won’t and listen to voices on the ground.

When HART travels to areas unreachable to many, we gain a deeper, richer, and more authentic understanding of the situation on the ground and the work that needs to be done. We then take this knowledge back to the UK with us and highlight the struggles of such communities amongst the wider international community, shedding light on crucial situations of conflict, persecution, and marginalisation.

HART recognises there is no ‘quick-fix’ that will solve all the challenges faced by our partner communities as they are so deeply affected by past or ongoing persecution. Grassroots strategies are multi-layered and rely on the guidance of a variety of players, such as our in-country partners, to ensure stability and growth in a range of social, economic, and political areas. HART believes that each of our six partner locations provide an inspiring case study for the implementation of grassroots strategies and their potential to aid successful sustainable development.

Traditionally, development models which have shaped global development efforts (carried out in donor nations) have been heavily Eurocentric.  Many strategies implemented within this framework have been criticised for lacking cultural sensitivity. Combined with a lack of adequate research undertaken within such locations (often due to their remoteness and political barriers), those seeking to provide aid aren’t equipped to offer the most effective support. In direct contrast to this, HART establishes roots within these remote vulnerable communities to ensure we tackle developmental issues from the bottom up. Our in-country partners are from a range of cultural and religious backgrounds;   thus, we recognise that it is extremely important to carry out thorough research and tailor each project to their specific needs, not what we think they need. As they share their valuable knowledge with us, we listen and provide support accordingly. After all, no one understands their situation better than themselves.

Our local partners are the ones who can effectively adapt to rapidly changing circumstances. Operating within conflict or post-conflict zones, there is no telling when international organisations may have to pull out for a variety of factors, and therefore it is invaluable to have a well-supported network in place that allows local communities to manage crises themselves.

Although we are a small charity, our strength comes from our incredible relationship with our local partners and our ability to create deep-rooted, meaningful partnerships engrained with an understanding of their unique cultures. This dynamic allows us to act as a catalyst for change. With your support, we can provide financial aid and encouragement, helping to build local capacity.

For 17 wonderful years, we were led by our founder, Baroness Caroline Cox, who worked tirelessly to provide a voice to those who were not being heard. Our bottom-up approach allows us to implement our aid and advocacy ethos by utilising Caroline’s platform in the House of Lords as a vessel to share the powerful first-hand accounts provided by our in-country partners. Furthermore, we are strongly empowered by all of our incredible donors and supporters who have shown our partners’ consistent invaluable support over the years.

As always, we thank you for all your support in helping our partners gain the ability to achieve the projects which mean the most to them, and to their communities. If you are able to, please click here to donate directly to our Christmas Emergency Appeal.

By Medha Chhetri

Although all blog posts are reviewed by an editorial team, our blog authors all write in a personal capacity and the views expressed are not necessarily those of HART.

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